I have learned to clip Molly my Airedale using tutorials like these AND by asking advice from professional groomers.
Different breeds have different grooming requirements and this should be carefully researched and taken in to consideration when deciding which breed to own. It is a serious commitment to own dogs that are long-haired as they may require hours of grooming a day, or a lot of money spent at a groomers! If you do not put in the time and effort to make sure your dog is comfortable and confident that no harm will come to them when being groomed, then you could end up with a dog that will not allow you or anyone else to groom them through fear. This in return could result in them developing uncomfortable movement restricting matts for instance. If you have a long-haired breed from a puppy, even if their beautiful coats have not yet fully grown in, grooming with soft brushes should begin as early as possible to help them see it as no big deal.
Grooming your dog is very important not just for their general well-being, but as a bonding activity between you and your dog. A dog that is comfortable being touched/brushed all over makes for a much happier dog in general. It builds up their trust not just in you but also when being handled by your vet for instance.
Regular grooming also helps you familiarise yourself with your dog’s body and gives you the chance to give them a thorough look over. This will help you in the long run to notice quickly if anything seems unusual, such as lumps or cuts under their fur which you may not have noticed otherwise.
Below I have added two YouTube tutorials. The first is the Airedale Grooming tutorial and the other is a helpful example of how to help your dog become comfortable with having their nails trimmed. This tutorial contains techniques that can also be applied to helping your dog become comfortable with grooming tools such as brushes and clippers.
PLEASE NOTE it takes TIME for your dog to have their confidence built up in these situations especially if they are already displaying ‘fear signals’. The reason I like the second tutorial so much is that it builds the de-sensitizing activities GRADUALLY. NEVER rush this process or it will be three steps backwards!! Every dog is an individual and it quite simply takes as long as it takes! If ever in doubt contact a local professional for advice.